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Harry Corones welcomed the troops to his Corones Hotel in Charleville during WWII. He treated them to good old fashioned country hospitality, and held almost nightly dances, except for Sundays, in the dance hall out the back for the troops. A US Air Force Band would often play at the dances.

On one occasion an American Air Force officer, annoyed by the noise in a crowded room, fired his service revolver down the corridor in an effort to quieten them down. His bullets hit the walls in several locations.

The American troops started to call Harry “Poppa” and Eftyhia “Nana”, nicknames which stuck with them in following years.

Staff Sergeant Harold B. Monighan was a member of the 8th Materiel Squadron and arrived in Brisbane on the USS Republic in the Pensacola Convoy on 22 December 1941. After assisting the 7th Bomb Group to assemble aircraft at Amberley Airfield he moved to Charleville with the 8th Materiel Squadron in late February 1942. Whilst in Charleville, Staff Sergeant Harold Monighan met Jean Hill, a girl from the outback in Charleville for schooling. They were married on 17 September 1942 at the Charleville Church of England Church and held their reception with 70 guests in the Corones Hotel. Harold was later transferred to Townsville in north Queensland and then eventually to New Guinea. Harold was a flight instrument mechanic and worked on repairing aircraft that came out of the Philippines and later the aircraft flying missions to New Guinea.


Corones Hotel


The wedding party at the reception in the Corones Hotel


Brigadier General Ralph Royce stayed at the Corones Hotel on two occasions as described in his WWII personal diary entries below:-

June 6 – Saturday
Up at 4:30 – picked up Bill Courtney and Sherrod at hotel and to Laverton – trouble starting engines – to club – finally off at 12:45 and to Charleville – Bostock, Perrin, Van Atta, Courtney, Sherrod & myself and crew of seven – Kurtz piloting – I landed ship. Col Cruse took us on tour and to Charleville Hotel – Sherrod ill & to bed – dinner at Corones Hotel – bed early.

Plane loaded with magazines, games, candy, cigarettes, etc. for Moresby. 1 case of liquor for Scanlon – minus 3 bottles for Sneed – also 3 cases of beer for Bladin.

12:40-16:50=4 hrs. 10 mins.

July 2 – Thursday
Breakfast at house – office – to field at twelve and off in B-17 for Charleville – to hotel – talked business about an hour – cleaned up – to Corones Hotel for dinner & to bed early

Harry Corones with Lores Bonney when
 she landed at Charleville on 10 April 1933


Harry Corones and Nancy Bird Walton in Charleville in 1935



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This page first produced 26 August 2019

This page last updated 25 January 2020